I’ve played video games for over 15 years. You name it, I’ve played it for hundreds of hours.
Video games can be a great escape. Hell, they can even be great for generating creative ideas. They spawn entire industries like Cosplay, where people dress up as their favorite characters.
But for all the fun of video games, they can be an incredible waste of time. This is coming from someone who put thousands of hours into League of Legends to hit Platinum rank. I played Starcraft 2 for hundreds of hours to climb the ladder to Diamond. I played competitive Counter-Strike when I was in high school.
Video games drained me of all my creativity. I never wanted to make things when I played heavily. All I cared about was leveling up, hitting the next competitive rank on the ladder, or earning that next piece of gear.
I lost 2 months of my life last year when WoW:Classic came out.
I don’t regret any of that time spent. Not for a moment. But my time with video games had to come to a close if I wanted to create more.
Today’s world revolves around content creation. There are almost 6 million new blog posts published every minute.
If I wanted to achieve my goal of building a personal brand, getting freelance clients, becoming a better writer, and to create more things, then I had to quit video games.
If this resonates with you, then read on to learn how you can quit playing video games. If it doesn’t, then just bounce already.
Why You Should Quit Video Games
Answer these questions:
- Do you still have fun playing video games?
- When do you have the most fun? Is it the first hour? 2nd hour?
- Do you get angry at yourself, the game or others?
- What would you do instead if you quit for an entire year?
I wrote a longer post about why I quit playing video games, but here’s the gist: It stopped being fun.
I played because I always had. I didn’t get any joy out of it anymore.
I made many great friends playing games. Hell, the relationship with my wife started when we played video games together. We wouldn’t be together without games.
But that’s all in the past for me now. I don’t need them anymore. They’ve served a purpose in my life and now it’s time to put them aside.
Here’s another question:
What would you do with your time instead of playing games?
Answering that is the key to successfully stop playing. If you just decide to quit but don’t replace it with more hobbies, then you’re going to get sucked right back in.
You’ll get that feeling of being bored all the time. Of not knowing what else to do, so you just jump into the game to stop being bored.
With those 5 questions in mind, let’s explore how to quit video games for good.
How to Quit Video Games
Here are the specific steps I took. I’ll go into more detail below.
- Decide you want to quit for a specific time period. For me, it was an entire year.
- Tell people you’re quitting. Tell your friends, family, girlfriend, boyfriend, write a blog post on the internet. This makes you accountable
- Find 3 hobbies to replace video games with.
- Uninstall every game from your computer. Introduce friction so it’s not easy to start playing again.
Alright, let’s dive in
1. Commit to Quitting for a Long Time
A long time to me is a year. A month is easy. Anyone could quit playing video games for a month, there’s no challenge there.
This forces you to develop other long term habits. They say it takes 30 days to build a new habit, and 60 days to break an existing one.
It’s much easier to start something new than it is to quit something you’ve been doing for years.
I also like how long a year sounds. Yeah, I’m quitting video games for a year. Maybe that’s just me, but the length of time is ambitious and inherently challenging. I like challenges.
2. Tell Everyone Who Will Listen
I never fully commit to a decision until I tell people about it. Thee’s something about verbalizing your thoughts. It makes them real.
I told my wife and my friends. Then I wrote a blog post about it.
That post has since been viewed over 400 times. I published it a month ago and I still get people commenting on it.
Now I’m accountable. I don’t care about what people on the internet think, but I care about sticking with my goal. If I took all that time to tell everyone and write about it then I better freaking do it.
Tell 3 people you’re quitting and write it down.
You don’t have to write a blog post or a long diatribe about why you’re doing this. Just write it down on paper. Pin it to your wall or bathroom mirror.
I’m quitting video games for an entire year
Every time you see those words is a constant reminder. You’ll think about why you started this journey in the first place.
3. Do Other Stuff
This is the information age. Anything you want to learn is just a Google search away. Here are some ideas.
- Start a daily journal
- Publish new content on Medium every day for a month
- Start working out 5 times a week. Get ripped!
- Play recreational sports. Join a league.
- Learn the guitar or electronic music production.
Hell, you can create viral TikTok videos. What you do doesn’t matter so much as long as it’s not playing video games and you’re consistent.
Whatever you pick, do it consistently. Workout every day. Play your guitar every day. Go for a run.
Consistency is key. You’re building new habits as you’re breaking old ones.
4. Uninstall Every Single Game
If you’re a PC gamer, uninstall everything from your computer. Fully delete the game files, don’t just cop-out and uninstall Steam.
This creates friction should you ever let temptation win. You’ll have to reinstall Steam and the game you want to play, which could take hours if you have a bad internet connection. By the time the game is done, you won’t want to play anymore.
If you’re a console gamer, unplug your Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo. Go find a box. It could be an old shoebox or a big moving box. Whatever it is, pack everything inside of it.
Then tape up the box. Go crazy with it. Seriously, put tape all over that thing because you’re making it as hard as possible to open.
Then take the box and shove it somewhere really difficult. Pick the highest shelf in your garage, or the in the very back of your guest room’s closet. Put a bunch of shit in front of the box. Make it really hard to get to.
Lock your games away and throw away the key. Even if you wanted to play you’d have to go through so much hassle that it’s not worth it.
The world is a beautiful place. Life, friendships, and relationships are all beautiful things that should be enjoyed in person, not behind a screen.
Quit playing league of legends. Quit Fortnite. Quit Minecraft.
Go live your life. I promise it’s worth it.
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